The "Thorlina"

Judgment Date15 July 1985
Date15 July 1985
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No 47 of 1983
CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
The “Thorlina”

[1985] SGCA 9

Wee Chong Jin CJ


Lai Kew Chai J


L P Thean J

Civil Appeal No 47 of 1983

Court of Appeal

Admiralty and Shipping–Admiralty jurisdiction and arrest–Bareboat charter–Liability for costs of ship repairs–Whether bareboat charterer person who would be liable on claim in action in personam–Section 4 (4) High Court (Admiralty Jurisdiction) Act (Cap 6, 1970 Rev Ed)

The appellants, the owners of a vessel, chartered the Thorlina (“the vessel”), under a bareboat charter, to D who in turn appointed F as the managers of the vessel. F then appointed U as managers responsible for the crew and operation of the vessel. U, acting on behalf of D, invited six local shipyards to tender for the repairs of the vessel and the respondents, one of the shipyards, successfully tendered for the repair of the vessel and carried out repairs to the vessel. Subsequently, the costs of repairs were not paid and the respondents took out a writ in rem for the balance due and arrested the vessel. The appellants did not enter appearance and the respondents applied for and obtained judgment in default of appearance. The appellants subsequently applied to set aside the writ of summons, the warrant of arrest and the judgment in default of appearance. The High Court dismissed the application to set aside the writ of summons and warrant of arrest, but allowed the application to set aside the judgment in default of appearance. The appellants appealed.

Held, allowing the appeal:

As the contract for the repair of the vessel was between the respondents and D, the appellants were not a party thereto and would not be liable to the respondents on the claim in an action in personam.As such, the admiralty jurisdiction could not be invoked by the respondents against the appellants under s 4 (4) of the High Court (Admiralty Jurisdiction) Act (Cap 6, 1970 Rev Ed): at [6].

St Merriel, The [1963] P 247 (refd)

High Court (Admiralty Jurisdiction) Act (Cap 6, 1970 Rev Ed) s 4 (4) (consd)

Lai Siu Chiu (Allen & Gledhill) for the appellant

C Arul (C Arul & Partners) for the respondent.

L P Thean J

(delivering the judgment of the court):

1 The appellants, Abaris Carriers Limited of Nicocia, Cyprus, were at all material times the owners of the vessel, Thorlina (“the vessel”). By a bareboat charter dated 9 July 1982, the appellants chartered the vessel to Denimar Shipping NV of Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (“Denimar”). By an...

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7 cases
  • The ‘Bunga Melati 5’
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 23 August 2011
    ...SA [2007] 1 SLR (R) 629; [2007] 1 SLR 629 (refd) Temasek Eagle, The [1999] 2 SLR (R) 647; [1999] 4 SLR 250 (refd) Thorlina, The [1985-1986] SLR (R) 258; [1984-1985] SLR 283 (not folld) Tolten, The [1946] P 135 (refd) Trade Fair, The [1994] 3 SLR (R) 641; [1994] 3 SLR 827 (refd) Uni-France O......
  • The "Opal 3" ex "Kuchino"
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 6 June 1992
    ......He may or may not be the beneficial owner: see ` The Evpo Agnic `,7 ` The Asean Promoter`; Unitrade Ltd v MV `Asean Promoter`, `Asean Progress`, `Asean Prosperity`, `Asean Venture`, Owners & Ors Interested [1982] 2 MLJ 108 and ` The Thorlina`; `The Thorlina`, Owners & Ors v Keppel Shipyard Ltd. [1986] 2 MLJ 17 To satisfy the in rem test, the claimant must show that the ship in the in rem action was, at the time the writ was filed, beneficially owned by the in personam defendant as respects all shares in it: see s 4(4) of the Act and ......
  • The ‘Bunga Melati 5’
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 21 August 2012
    ...Three Rivers District Council v Governor and Company of the Bank of England [2003] 2 AC 1; [2001] UKHL 16 (folld) Thorlina, The [1985-1986] SLR (R) 258; [1984-1985] SLR 283 (refd) Tolla, The [1921] P 22 (refd) Vasiliy Golovnin, The [2006] SGHC 247 (refd) Vasiliy Golovnin, The [2007] 4 SLR (......
  • The "Eagle Prestige"
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 23 March 2010 action in rem arose from the personal liability of the owner of the vessel. The common argument in the decisions of The Thorlina [1985-1986] SLR(R) 258, The Lok Mashewari, The AA V [1999] 3 SLR(R) 664 (“The AA V”) and The Rainbow Spring [2003] 2 SLR(R) 117 (“The Rainbow Spring (HC)”) and......
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